On Wednesday, August 14th, we had the opportunity to take part in a program dedicated to creating entrepreneurial opportunities for discharged and retired Canadian Forces members. The program, entitled Based in Business, works with the Memorial University Enactus Group to execute a year-long, three-phased program that teaches participants everything they need to know about owning and running their own business.
We were invited into the marketing phase of the program being held at the University of Regina. Along with Lee Elliot, I (Linden) was able to share insights into the rapidly changing marketing world.
While we often view opportunities like this as being good exposure for our business, perhaps the most valuable thing I took away from the experience was inspiration from these participants stemming from their insatiable desire to create, cater to a need, and succeed in doing so. The group was special in that they wanted to absorb everything that was said, stuck around after to answer questions, and continued to follow up with extremely specific questions related to their business ideas.
Another insight into the hard work and dedication of the entrepreneurs was their follow-up with the Hill School of Business students they were paired up with. Many students commented on the intense desire of their partners to spend extra time on their budget, pitch video, or overall business plan — even late into the night after a long day of sessions with an early morning looming.
Whether the entrepreneurial endeavour was a micro-distillery using only honey, an aerospace tools e-commerce site, a gold prospecting consultancy, or a 3D printing kiosk, the work-ethic and desire to succeed was the same. All in all, if the experience was any indication of the future of Canadian business and entrepreneurship, we’re in great hands.
Here’s a feature on the Based in Business program and its time at U of R by CBC’s The National. Keep you eyes peeled for our brief cameo at 2:35 :).